DeAnna “Dee” Kenison (January 25, 1941 – April 30, 2020)

DeAnna “Dee” Kenison (January 25, 1941 – April 30, 2020)

DeAnna (Dee) Kenison (January 25, 1941 - April 30, 2020)

LARAMIE — DeAnna (Dee) Kenison passed away peacefully at home in Laramie, Wyoming on April 30, 2020.

She was born in Hamilton, Montana on January 25, 1941.

Dee survived polio as a child and because of this she used a leg brace and crutches throughout her life. This never slowed her down, she loved to ride horses, dance, and swim.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

She earned a degree in Home Economics and Library Science from MSU where she was an officer in her sorority, Pi Beta Pi.

She married Bob Kenison in 1961. Dee and Bob had two sons, Timothy and Richard who both died shortly after birth. Through adoption they were able to expand their family and Dee was a caring and dedicated mother to 2 daughters, Cheri and Pam; and 2 sons, Mike and Chris.

Dee founded the Prairie Puppet and Costume Company while living in Green River, Wyoming. Dee made most of the inventory of both puppets and costumes. She entertained countless children and adults over the years with her puppet shows and storytelling. She visited schools, churches, youth groups, senior centers, and birthday parties; delighting children with songs and stories.

Dee used her Home Economics degree to teach classes to the students at G.H. Bell Elementary School, a private school all her children attended. She taught her students to sew, cook, and can. She also taught classes through the extension office at the local community college.

She introduced microwave cooking to the community in the 1970’s and taught puppet making classes to the local teachers.

Dee was a master seamstress. Over the years she created beautiful wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, children’s clothing, and doll clothes.

During the many years she lived in Green River, she made the first ever mascot costume for the Green River Wolves sports teams.

She also created a fashion show of woman’s styles through the ages, beginning with Martha Washington and going through the 1980s. She presented her fashion show for woman’s clubs and lady’s groups throughout Wyoming and Montana.

Dee loved the county fair and she won many, many ribbons for her sewing, canning, baking, and flower arrangements. She served as a judge for food and sewing projects for many years.

Dee’s love of sewing continued throughout her life, even as her dementia advanced and she was confined to a wheelchair, her memory of sewing stayed with her. She spent her twilight days working on her potholders, the familiar sound of her old Singer and the feel of the fabric kept her mind and hands busy.

She loved to share her gift with others, and she gave her potholders to friends, the mailman, church members, nurses, visitors, and anyone she met; spreading her unique brand of kindness and generosity to everyone she came in contact with. Her last business venture was a little project she had with Pam called Nanna’s potholders, which found a larger audience for her projects and provided a bit of revenue for Bob to continue to supply her with colorful and creative fabrics for her potholders.

Dee was very active in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, throughout the years she served on various committees and taught sabbath school classes for the children of the church. She was the head deaconess while living in Green River and again for the Cheyenne Wyoming church. Her favorite church activity was singing special music with Bob and, of course, telling the children’s story!

Dee is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 59 years, Bob; their 4 children, Cheryl, Pam, Mike, and Chris; and her sister Gloria of Missoula Montana. Dee has eight grandchildren including 2 sets of twins; Austen, Kayla, Haylee, Hollie (Mike’s twins) Mara and Alysa Cami, Jada (Chris’s twins). Dee had 7 great-grandchildren including another set of twins; Owen, Natalee, Noah, Easten (Austen’s twins), Emmersen, Izaias, and Azariah. All her grandchildren and great grandchildren lovingly called her Nana.

A memorial service will be held later in the summer 2020.